September 11th Epic Poem Chapter 4

The Following is chapter 1 of the September 11th Epic Poem. The rough draft was written between June 2008 and May 2010. It is 2,000 lines long and has 1,499 rhyming pairs.
 
CHAPTER FOUR  (Hopeless Predicaments) 
Our hearts stood still as human will
            Received that second blow.
The morning sun seemed shocked and stunned
            By what occurred below.
The jaws were dropped by people stopped
            On streets already packed;
With little clue what else to do,
            If other planes attacked.
 
To know despair like many there
            Can drive a mind insane.
Each gray-haired vet began to sweat,
            Who’d seen the second plane.
The city’s best would face a test
            Like none they’d ever known.
In short supply they had to try
            To start a second zone.
 
Their eyes seemed quenched, their guts were wrenched,
            As more of them came in.
Their heartstrings broke to see the smoke
            Engulf the second twin.
Their minds reached out to those in doubt
            Above each tower’s wound;
And some surmised the ones alive
            Already might be doomed.
 
The light of hope is hard to grope
            By someone badly trapped,
When ev’ry route to get you out
            Is quickly, soundly, scrapped.
When voices cease, and doubts increase,
            And all your friends have died;
You make a wish that God exists,
            To save you from inside.
 
Above the breach the towers each
            Were filled with troubled souls.
Whose bodies faced a hopeless case
            That left them few controls.
They thought they might escape by flight,
            If some could reach the roof;
Unless the cloak produced by smoke
            Was helicopter-proof.
 
In fractured streams they joined as teams              
            To help their injured friends.
They clenched their teeth and fought the grief,
            Yet feared it was the end.
The young interns took frequent turns              
            To mitigate their plight.                         
With cheerful tact they claimed, in fact,            
            They’d all get home alright.                   
           
But wishful trust could not adjust
            The substance of their fate.
And ev’ry scheme their minds could dream,
            They saw evaporate.    
We still don’t know what size of flow
            In panic, upwards flocked.                      
But this we do: that none got through,                  
            Since all the doors were locked.[6]                 
 
The depths of scare they had to bear
            My heart cannot expound.
And if it could I never would
            Attempt to write it down.
These lines were made to serve as aid  
            For intellectual gain,  
But in the end I don’t pretend
            To understand their pain.
 
I was not there to watch them stare
            Destruction in the eyes,
Or ask the dead what filled their head
            When life lost its disguise.  
But nonetheless I’ll try to guess
            The questions that they met,
So folks like you can think them through    
            With all the time you get.
 
These ones who died deserve our pride
            At least for what they bore.
The lists of names are halls of fame
            For this and so much more.
And that is why I’m sworn to try
            To pay the most respect.
You can be sure I won’t endure
            To see their mem’ries wrecked.
                                   
 
I’ll paint at times throughout these rhymes
            A shadow of these folks,
Whose hope gave way that awful day
            When fraught with dreadful yokes.
I don’t imply their strength was shy,
            Or claim it’s wrong to flee:
I’d hate to think how much I’d shrink
            If that poor guy was me.
 
My point instead from why they fled
            Is that their souls were wise.
It’s common sense to jump the fence
            That holds our sure demise.
Our souls have points at which the joints
            Will crumble down and break.
The world is rife with things in life
            That none of us could take.
 
We know so well that life’s a hell,
            And living’s wracked with pain.
Our time on Earth seems hardly worth
            The mediocre gain.
Since time began the hurt of man
            Has plagued this giant ball,
And some suggest we nuke the rest
            To quickly end it all.
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